Garment Trade Union

Trade Union

Lack of information on Trade Unions often makes workers distance themselves from joining trade unions. Are you a member of a trade union? Do you already feel the benefits of joining the union?

13/13 Garment Trade Unions

Garment Trade Union

What is a trade union?

A trade union is an institution formed by the worker, from the worker and for the worker, whose main goal is to fight for the welfare of it’s members and their families. A trade union can be within the company, or outside the company.

What is the obligations and rights of a worker if one becomes a member of a trade union?

Obligations and rights of a trade union’s member are different for each trade union. But basically, every trade union’s member has the rights of protection from their trade union regarding any industrial dispute in their workplace. The obligations of a trade union’s member are to pay their membership’s fee and to obey every regulation within their trade union.

How can garment workers form a trade union?

The requirement is a minimum of 10 workers to form a trade union. These 10 workers must appoint the board of their trade union, register at the local manpower office to get their registration number. After they receive their registration number they are considered to be legal and protected by the law.

How can a garment worker join or resign from a trade union?

If a trade union already exist in a company, a worker can join by filling the registration form and fulfill all the requirements.
If a worker decided to resign from a trade union, they must write their resignation letter/form."

Is it possible to have more than one trade union in a company?

The manpower regulation does not limit the number of trade unions in a company. Therefore it is possible to have more than one trade union in the same company.

Most workers in the garment industry are female, is it safe to join a trade union?

The law in Indonesia is giving freedom for everyone to form, join or not to join a trade union. Everyone must respect this individual right and the law provides protection on this particular right. Everyone who obstructs other’s rights to form and join or not to join a trade union can be sanctioned with a fine and/or imprisonment.

What kind of action can be qualified as an obstruction to the freedom of association?

Actions that can be qualified as an obstruction to the freedom of association are the demotion, mutation/transfer, suspension even a dismissal, and any other action taken which purpose is to obstruct someone’s freedom of association.

What can be done if a violation against the freedom of association occurs?

If a violation against the freedom of association occurs, there are some measures that can be taken.

- First, the worker can negotiate with the company about the violation. If the negotiation is unsuccessful the worker can take the matter to the tripartite level, involving mediation from the local manpower office.
- Secondly, the worker can report the problem directly to the labor inspector who is available in the manpower office at the Provincial level.
- Or, finally, the worker can report the violation directly to the police.

Freedom of Association in Garment Sector

What is the right to negotiate?

The right to negotiate is a worker’s rights to negotiate with their employer, regarding their working conditions and their welfare.

What topics can be negotiated with employers?
All topics, ranging from wage, working hours, duties, overtime, a benefit to all matters regarding working conditions and the worker’s welfare.

What is a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)?

A Collective Bargaining Agreement is an agreement between employer (group of employers) and trade union (group of trade unions) as a result of a negotiation, which arranges rights and obligations of the parties, working condition within a company or several companies in one particular sector, that is registered at the government office responsible for manpower.

How to make a CBA in a garment company?

The basic terms to apply a negotiation for CBA is that the trade union applying for the negotiation must have a minimum membership of 50% + 1 from the total number of workers in the company. If the membership of the trade union is less than that, the trade union must have a written statement that they are supported by 50% + 1 of the workers in the company. If there are more than one trade union, the membership of trade unions in the company must be at least 50% + 1 of the total workers, where the representation of every trade union in the negotiation will be divided according to the number of each trade union’s membership.

Right to Strike

What is a strike?

According to Act 13/2003 a strike is an action taken by workers planned and executed collectively with or by the trade union to stop or slow down the production process, i.e. all action taken to stop or slow down the production process collectively.

Is a strike equal to a demonstration?

A strike is not the same as demonstration. A demonstration (rally) must be done in public and open place with the purpose to be acknowledged by the public. A strike does not have to be done in a public place. A strike can also be done within the working place (inside the factory), as long as it is done collectively and the main purpose is to stop or slowdown the production process.

Are garment worker allowed to strike?s

As other workers, garment workers are allowed to strike because it is a worker’s right and protected by the law. Because it is a right, a worker involved in a strike is protected by the law and has all the rights as if the worker performs the usual duties. However, these rights only hold if the strike itself is legal and has fulfilled all the requirements according to the regulation.

When is the appropriate time to strike for garment workers?

A strike can be executed as the result of a negotiation about industial relation dispute that failed to achieve an agreement or result. A negotiation failure is the main requirement for a strike. Beside that, there are other requirements for a strike such as a notification to all concerning parties (including the manpower office) and the execution of the strike must be done in an manner